Croatian Teenager Wakes From Coma Speaking Fluent German

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Comment by kelltrill on April 14, 2010 at 12:47pm
@ Cara, I just mean the patient can speak unhindered and uninhibited, but the fast flow of the words does not make any sense. I like the example Radu posted :) The thing is, Aphasia is far from a voluntary thing. It is the direct result of damage to the brain resulting in lesions in the Wernicke's or Broca's areas. And you're right, it must be horribly frustrating since with Wernicke's Fluent Aphasia, for example, the patient understands themselves and gets terribly frustrated and confused when other people don't understand them.
@ Radu, the hypothesis you stated has already been documented, so well spotted. There are many cases where someone may have been studying (for example) Spanish as a second language and were really bad at it, then went into a coma or had a stroke or head trauma of some kind and when they emerged from hospital they could speak fluent Spanish but barely any English. The language centres of the brain are very intricate and confusing places.
Consider Broca's Aphasia, which is the non-fluent counterpart of Wernicke's Fluent Aphasia. Where Wernicke's patients struggle with auditory comprehension, Broca's patients are aware that they struggle to access to correct lexical items and so speak very slowly and hesitantly as they try to get their meaning across.
For example: Yes ... ah ... Monday ... er Dad and Peter H ... (his own name), and Dad ... er hospital ... and ah ... Wednesday ... Wednesday nine o'clock ... and oh ... Thursday ... ten o'clock, ah doctors ... two ... an' doctors ... and er ... teeth ... yah.
I don't think there has been a single reported incident involving the event you mention in your last paragraph, Radu. You are right, I strongly doubt that anyone can speak a language they have never been exposed to.
Hence the issue of Glossolalia (speaking in tongues), another fascinating Biblical phenomena that has been Linguistically disproven.


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